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Thread: WEST VIRGINIA LAW: Bounty Hunter-Enforcer

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    [b]All "bail bond enforcers" must register with the West Virginia state police.

    That registration must:

    (1) identify at least one bond agent for whom the enforcer is authorized to act,

    (2) include written authorization from that bonding agent,

    (3) include the enforcer's certified fingerprints, and

    (4) include one photograph.

    To register, an enforcer must be at least 21 years old, a citizen of the U.S., and have no felony convictions.

    A bonding agent can grant an ongoing 2-year authorization to an enforcer who is a West Virginia citizen to seek all defendants for whom the bonding agent acts as surety. The bonding agent otherwise can grant a 60 day authorization to an enforcer, in which case the enforcer must notify the state police of the time and place of any proposed action, and if the enforcer is not a state resident, he also must notify the police the date he will enter the state.

    Out of state bounty hunters must abide by the same requirements of in-state (including written authorization from in-state bonding agent).

    An enforcer is to be considered the legal agent of the bonding agent.

    An enforcer cannot:

    (1) enter an occupied residential structure (i.e., a house or apartment) without the consent of the occupants who are then present,

    (2) arrest a defendant without written authorization from the bondsman,

    (3) wear or carry any uniform or badge that implies that the enforcer is a state agent or employee (but "may display identification that indicates his or her status as a bail bond enforcer only"), and

    (4) must exercise due care to protect the safety of third parties. H.B. 4481 (Enacted April 4, 2000).




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    Re: WEST VIRGINIA LAW: Bounty Hunter-Enforcer

    Thanks for the information. Very helpful.

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    Re: WEST VIRGINIA LAW: Bounty Hunter-Enforcer

    From Internet Resource:
    A Bounty Hunter in West Virginia is officially known as a “Bail Bond Enforcer.” They do have the authority to make arrests, but may not enter an occupied residential structure without consent of the individuals residing within. They must also ensure the safety of individuals other than the defendant when making an arrest and may not wear anything identifying them as in any way affiliated with local or federal government or law enforcement. Clearly, state law puts the safety of innocent bystanders at a premium. Furthermore, they may only make arrests with written authorization from a licensed bail bondsman. Thus, it is imperative to have a god relationship with a bail bond agency to work as a Fugitive Recovery Agent in the state.

    How to Become a Bounty Hunter in West Virginia

    Because Bounty Hunters need authorization to make arrests in West Virginia, they must be employed by a licensed bail bondsman. In order to find employment it is wise to first specify a county in which you wish to work and seek out bonding agencies within that county. Then, to prove that you are prepared to safely and effectively skip trace fugitives, education in state bond laws and training in safe and effective skip tracing and fugitive apprehension techniques, as well as firearms training, are highly recommended. Only once any or all of the agencies that you wish to work for have provided written endorsement can you register as a Bail Bond Enforcer in West Virginia.

    West Virginia Bounty Hunter License and Requirements

    No license is required to work as a Bounty Hunter in West Virginia. However, Fugitive Recovery Agents must register with the West Virginia State police, procedures for which are available from the West Virginia Secretary of State. This registration must be accompanied by designation from at least one bond agent for whom you will be working, a set of fingerprints, and a full face photograph. In addition, one must prove that they are at least 21 years old, a US citizen or legal resident, and never convicted of a felony, as well as authorization from any agency for which the Fugitive Recovery Agent will work. Keep in mind that the superintendent of the State Police may also require “interrogations or examinations” to prove that you are qualified to act in a way that does not endanger the public. Training and education can easily prove your knowledge and capabilities as a Bounty Hunter and ensure that you are able to register with no trouble.

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